This past National Gathering focused on "Debunking the Myth of the Happy Family" and was held in Columbus, Ohio.  A DVD of this past National Gathering is available for order.  Please click here to purchase.      


This Year’s Focus...

A Bowen Center faculty member once remarked: "Expectations are the down payment on bitterness."

What expectations do we layer on our family experience?  How does that shape us and prepare us (or not) for the reality of the emotional process that gets stirred up whenever human beings gather together?  How do those expectations feed into our responses from, and reactions to, communities of faith that set forth values of love, grace, concrete actions, or hope? 

We have invited a Bowen thinker to partner with a congregational leader to challenge the gathered group about the ways in which leadership and relationships can function toward awareness and a greater repertoire of capacities.  Could leaders and communities of faith move from expectations to exploration, curiosity, playfulness, and challenge when family expectations meet faith systems?  How do we manage the realities of being vulnerable and resilient human beings and groups?  Consider joining the conversation this year.

  icon_pdf Detailed Brochure


annemcknight2 Anne S. McKnight, LISW, Ed. D

Anne S. McKnight has been the Director of the Bowen Center since January 1, 2011, and a member of the Bowen Center faculty since 1992.  She has extensive experience with families, particularly those families dealing with substance abuse.  McKnight's activities have included teaching and supervising in the Bowen Center postgraduate training programs, leading the internship program, and organizing and presenting conferences around the country.  She is a family therapist in private practice in Arlington, VA.  She developed a special interest in families with addiction from working, teaching, and supervising students for many years in a child and family substance abuse program in Virginia.

Peter W. Marty

Peter W. Marty serves as senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, a 3500-member congregation in Davenport, Iowa.  He is a frequent preacher and speaker and is the author of more that 100 articles on leadership, preaching, and parish renewal in America. He has contributed to several multi-volume works on preaching and is the author of The Anatomy of Grace (Augsburg Fortress, 2008).  From 2004-2009, Marty served as host of the national radio broadcast, "Grace Matter," speaking to more than a million listeners through the program's weekly airing.  In 2010, the Academy of Parish Clergy named him "Parish Pastor of the Year," an award recognizing leadership excellence and faithfulness in congregational development.  He currently chairs the board of The Christian Century Magazine and serves on the board of trustees for Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.  He has been a member of the Louisville Institute's Pastor's Working Group, and a past participant in the Duke Project for the Study of Ministry.

Additional Presenters

The Rev. Dr. Emlyn Ott is the Executive Director of Healthy Congregations and a faculty member at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, following 19 years as a parish and campus pastor.  A frequent conference speaker, consultant and coach, she continues to participate in a research group at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family.
Mary Ann Schwabe serves as Chair of the Healthy Congregations Board of Directors and has been instrumental in the development of judicatory resource teams. A student of Bowen and Friedman, she is active in the Clergy Voyagers group initiated by faith community leaders who worked with Rabbi Ed Friedman.
The Rev. Dr. Robert Mathis is an ordained minister and pastoral counselor currently in private practice in the Columbus, OH. His doctoral work focused on Bowen family systems theory.  He is a presenter and coach in Healthy Congregation's Leadership Series and serves as the Chair of the Healthy Congregations Leadership Team overseeing the Campaign for the Next Generation.
The Rev. Dr. Larry Foster is the founder of Clergy Seminars and a frequent speaker, teacher, and coach. His work with family process began in 1979, and he has served as a consultant for more that 18 years as he continues to make application in all aspects of his own journey.
Tony Wilgus has been studying and applying Bowen theory to his life and vocation for more than 20 years.  A social worker, teacher, and pastor's spouse, he has served on the faculty of the University of Findlay and as director of their social work program.  He also serves on the editorial board of The Family Systems Journal, a publication of the Georgetown Family Center.

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